When it comes to giving your mother plant as much space as possible, thereâs really no debate that âmore is betterâ in this realm. In an ideal world, youâd have a dedicated mother/veg room to provide your MILCs (Mother I’d Like to Clone) the best lighting possible and to let them breathe and thrive.
But for most learning how to grow plants indoors, this is not usually the case as space is limited and MILC’s end up sharing a room with other plants. Being aware and knowing how to overcome these space and potential lighting challenges will greatly benefit your soon-to-be cuttings and plantsâ overall health.
To preface, itâs best to use your own discretion when choosing how to light your MILC’s. No one way is perfect, as no one plant or environment is exactly the same as another. But in general, use appropriate lighting for the specific growth stage.
Appropriate lighting is not just sticking her in the corner and giving her secondary light from the clones give her a dedicated mother light! Many growers take baby clones and put them directly beneath lights, leaving the mother pushed off to the side, which greatly diminishes her light intake. Don’t do this. Again, honor thy mother and treat her like the provider plant she is.
As far as specific types of lights to keep the MILC in a vegetative state, again thatâs up to the growerâs personal preference. Use a vegetative-spectrum light, such as a T5 fluorescent, metal halide, LED and of course, natural light is always an option. If using natural light, however, be cognizant of light cycles.
As far as the 24 hours of light on versus 18 hours on and 6 hours off…well, thatâs an entire can of worms in its own right. To keep your MILC in a vegetative state, some people believe she needs 18 hours of light a day and 6 hours to rest, while others believe that 24/7 is best. Again, personal preference is usually the ultimate decider.
Basically, if you’re growing indoors, all traditional plant-growing rules have gone out the window. The control rests in your hands more so than in mother nature, so you have much more freedom to experiment with indoor grow light systems. And if nutrients and additives are being used (steroids for plants), their diet is already being altered, so it canât hurt to experiment with 24/7 lighting.
But there are also economical and environmental perks to the 18-hour cycle. By allowing some down time, you save money and electrical usage (which in turn, saves the drain on the environment) and allows the plants to rest (if you donât prefer 24/7 lighting).
Keep in mind, however, that timers have the potential to fail and affect your MILCâs state. And, a 24/7 cycle allows the plant to more easily transition and recognize when itâs moved onto a 12/12 cycle.
So, give your MILC as much room to branch out as possible, keep her in a vegetative state with consistent lighting and keep her green with quality nutrients and additives. Ready, set, grow!